Roughly (read: unofficially) based on the “Slam Dunk” manga and anime series, the Hong Kong flick finds its center in Fang Shijie, orphaned as an infant and raised in a martial arts school where he is taught the “Altering Universe” fighting style. This allows for the disassembly and reshaping of atomic particles at will, giving the user the ability to freeze and reverse time.
Ergo, Shijie (Chou) uses it for mad hoops skillz. The kid can’t miss!
With a homeless man (Eric Tsang, the “Infernal Affairs” trilogy) serving as his agent and surrogate father, Shijie is admitted to First University as an Oliver Twist-style hard case, whereupon the press dubs him as “The Basketball Orphan.” He clashes with arrogant teammates jealous of his court prowess, thereby threatening their chances at coming together to win the championship.
You know exactly what will happen, but seeing it play out is all the fun, and the scene in which Shijie’s masters use their gravity defying moves on a rival team is nothing if not fun. While there’s an overreliance on silly slapstick, there’s also plenty of impossible action as only the Asians can deliver.
“Dunk” is not up to the greatness of Stephen Chow’s “Shaolin Soccer,” but how often do such films hit the big screen here? Represent.